By Lizzi Oh
Cape Raoul, Tasmania
(click for more info on location)
I love coming home to Tasmania in summer. Climbing adventures by the sea, surrounded by glistening ocean and whistling wind. Secluded, committing climbing. Moving through a shifting landscape. Fickle weather. Feeling pretty out there. I just mistook a fur seal grunting for the voice of my climbing partner, ‘Huh, did you say take?’.
A day climbing out to Cape Raoul is the kind of day you don’t forget to bring your head torch and puffy jacket even though its sunny and hot and the summer days provide 17hrs of light. And after 6+hrs of hiking, trad climbing and abseiling up, over and around sea stacks to get to your intended sport climb (classic Tassie adventure), you just pray you don’t get your ropes stuck around a pillar when pulling them in the blowing wind. The reward is top quality climbing on the ocean eroded pillars in a beautiful and unique position.
After a sport climbing stint in Europe I’ve arrived home stronger, and its given me the confidence to take the lead more. I’ve been to Cape Raoul before, but with partners that were more experienced than me. So this time I went with my friend Jess, a great climber who is completely psyched but had never quite been sandbagged into such a long day before. We had an excellent girls day out. Out the end we did Certified Wise, a slightly spooky 40m 23 (5.11d) on the classic ‘Pole Dancer’ pillar. Here the rock has become beautifully smoothed by the ocean. You pull up on some rounded flakes, greased from salt spray, to do some airy laybacking and run out arete hugging to the summit of the pillar where there is just enough space for two.